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Working from home is a dream for many people. You get to stay in your pajamas, leave the commute behind and maybe even have time to make yourself a cup of coffee — not to mention being able to spend more time with your kids or spouse. Working from home as a freelance home designer gives you the flexibility that most designers need. You can set your own hours, go to appointments directly from your home and quickly access research resources or reference materials. In short, working from home as a freelancer has many advantages. But it also requires discipline and organization if you want to succeed in this field. To help you get started on the right foot, here are some tips for working as a freelancer at home:
Find a quiet place to work
Working from home can have its fair share of distractions — especially if you have kids or other family members around. If you can, try to find a quiet corner in your house where you can focus on your work without being interrupted. This will go a long way towards helping you stay productive and on track with your work. You may even want to invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones if your home is particularly loud. If you’re in a situation where you have to share space with others, you can try to find a few hours each day when everyone is gone and you have the house to yourself. Creating some “office hours” might help you stay on track with your work, even if you’re working from home.
Stay on top of your email and invoicing
When you’re working from home, there’s a real danger of falling behind on your correspondence and invoicing. You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder, so it’s all up to you to stay on top of it. This will be particularly important when you’re starting out and don’t yet have a big client base. To stay on top of your correspondence, set some firm rules for yourself. For example, try to answer all emails within 24 hours, or respond to voicemail messages as soon as you get them. When it comes to invoicing, try to set regular times for doing this. For example, you could set aside one morning a week to review the work you did the previous week and enter the hours into your invoicing system.
Don’t forget to market yourself
Working from home allows you the flexibility to set your own hours — but it also means that you’re responsible for bringing in the work. You’ll need to actively market yourself and build your client base if you want to be successful. One way to do this is to join professional associations in your field. Joining these organizations will put you in touch with other professionals in your field and give you a good opportunity to network. You can also promote yourself online. This includes creating a website and social media accounts where you can publish information about your business. When you’re creating your website, make sure to include plenty of information about your services, as well as your background and experience.
Have a workspace and equipment checklist
If you’re working from home, it’s likely that you’ll need a dedicated work space. This might be a desk in your home office, or it might be your couch if you’re working from home with your kids. Make sure that your work space is well-organized and stocked with everything you need to do your job: You’ll also need to make sure that you have adequate equipment for your business. This includes things like computers, phones, and projectors. You may also want to invest in a few professional-grade tools, such as measuring tape and pencils.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to lose track of time. This can lead to poor time management and poor productivity, which can hurt your business. To avoid these problems, make sure to set firm rules for yourself and stay organized. To successfully work from home as a freelance home designer, you’ll need to be organized and disciplined. But you’ll also need to be flexible enough to handle whatever curveballs life might throw at you. With the right equipment, good habits and a little bit of luck, you’ll make the most of this flexible and rewarding career path.